Updated: Jun 3, 2019
Summer is just around the corner, which means it’s time to pack the car, load up the kids, and hit the road! You’re embarking on the classic Great American Road Trip with the whole family in tow!
If you're on a budget, road-tripping is a great way to experience America’s history, culture, and natural beauty without breaking the bank. My parents were masters of the family road trip - they had it down to a science. Every summer, my parents loaded me and my two sibling into the car starting when my youngest sibling was only 6 months old. We drove everywhere - Utah, Maine, Mississippi, and even Alaska. In the 18 years I lived at home, our family travels took me to over 40 different states. Every single trip was extremely educational and a whole lot of fun. There were the occasional sibling skirmishes in the back seat of the car, but we now look back on every single road trip with fond memories.
Naturally, the style of the family road trip evolved over the years as my siblings and I grew up. When we were very young, my parents would pack a lot of games and toys to keep us occupied around the campsite and we'd often visit parks with playgrounds to play and picnic. As we got older, we began focusing on more strenuous and adventurous activities, such as hiking, canoeing, and backpacking. However, regardless of our age, we would always make a point to visit the major landmarks and historical sites we passed along the way during each road trip. I am extremely blessed that I got to explore America in my formative years, visit the best sights that our country has to offer, and formed great family memories that will last forever. Now that I’m grown, I still make time for the occasional road trip. A couple years ago, my brother and I met each other in Denver, where we spent a week hiking 14ers (peaks with summits above 14,000 feet). And if you’re on a budget, you’ll be interested to know that that entire vacation only cost me $600.
This summer, I've decided to publish The Ultimate Road Trip Series to highlight the best America has to offer. In this series, I’ll break down the United States into 16 regional road trips based on my extensive road trip experience, with suggested routes, sights, and destinations. These road trips will revolve around tent camping, visiting national parks, landmarks, and historical sites, and bucket list experiences - things that the whole family can enjoy that don’t cost a lot of money. Thus, tourist traps and shopping opportunities are actively avoided. Most importantly, each of these road trips can be completed in 1-3 weeks, coinciding with the typical amount of vacation the breadwinners of the family receive each year. Furthermore, these 16 road trips hit all 50 states, so accomplishing each of these will automatically make you a member of the All 50 States Club!
The map below shows each of the regional road trips that I'll highlight in the coming weeks. To make sure you don't miss a single issue, subscribe by entering your email at the bottom of this page. It's time to start planning your next road trip!